After the verdict in the Trayvon Martin-Robert Zimmerman case, some sought to counter the narrative of division with testimony that we can love and share joy regardless of our racial and cultural differences. My photographer/musician friend, Joseph Crachiola, posted a picture on Facebook that captured that spirit. He took the photo in 1973 in suburban Detroit: a biracial group of five children stopped momentarily from their play to smile for Joe’s camera. The photo has since become a viral sensation (all of these links feature the now famous photo):

Soon, I suspect I’ll be adding a few more links–once these people in the photo are found and interviewed …

To learn more about Joe, check out his website, and be sure to check out my long 2-part interview with him from 2011:

Update (Noon, 7/19): Joe says the number of views of his photo has jumped to 769,000.

Update 2 (7/21): Looks like a reunion of the people in the photo is in the works. From a follow-up at Deadline Detroit:

Crachiola also heard from another daughter of Rhonda Shelly. Mariah Monae of Mt. Clemens, who commented  Wednesday on his Facebook page. So did Robert Shelly’s wife, Darnesha, who joked: “It was great seeing a picture of my husband with hair!”

Update 3 (Noon, 7/21): Joe shared the NPR piece again on Facebook today, noting:

This was the most viewed and most e mailed story of the week on NPR. The original post had somewhere around 988,000 hits as of this morning. Thank you to everyone who has responded and shared the photo.

Update 4 (12:43 p.m., 7/21): It’s jumped the Atlantic.

UK’s MailOnline: The united faces of America: Photograph of black and white kids grinning as they embrace each other in 1973 goes viral as a lesson in racial harmony after Trayvon Martin verdict

Update 5 (4:19 p.m., 7/21):

joe c million 2

 

Derek Bridges lives in New Orleans, trading in words and pictures. A carpetbagger of long standing, he grew up in the top right corner of IL and later went to college in the middle cornfield part. He has also lived in MS and FL, for educational purposes only, and was diasporized for a time in TX.

Leave a Reply